Need advice before buying a NAS

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by phjo, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. phjo macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008

    I intend to buy a NAS with capability of at least 4 SATA drives, which I intend to operate with RAID5. (storage of documents, software projects, websites, time machine maybe, but also quite a few videos...)

    (This already excludes HP MediaSmart servers, unless I am wrong)

    I am not sure I'll be able to put them in an isolated area in my house, as the most obvious location is to put it near the adsl modem/router (I might change that a bit in the future, as the router is not using gigabit ethernet though...)

    Whatever location the NAS will be, the quieter the better of course...

    I've spent some time on the internet and selected a few NAS :

    LaCie Big5 : it comes with 5 SATA drives preinstalled, with capabilities of 2,5TB, 5TB and 7,5TB.

    It is supposedly very quiet, not bad looking, but with modest performance (I can live with that).

    The main drawback for me is that you can't buy the big5 with no drive preinstalled, and I wonder what will happen if I buy the 2,5TB one and wish to change the harddrives later on for bigger capacities ones... Would the device allow me to change one by one the harddrives (taking quite some time I guess for reconstructing the volume on the new harddrive) swapping one by one the 500Gb disks for, say, 1,5TB ones without losing the stored data ?

    Then comes the Qnap TS-409, with room for 4 Sata drives. Quite a few advantages over the Big5 from what I've read : better performance, possibility to hot swap harddrives, beginning with one drive with no redundancy adding a second to add mirror redundancy (Raid 1) with two drives, a third to gain access to Raid 5.

    But not as good-looking, and I don't know about how quiet it would be. (And the quietness could be the killer selling-point...)

    Similar is the netgear ReadyNAS IV+ I guess. No idea of its quietness either...

    An option is the drobo with the NAS external unit. That will be a bit more expensive (especially as the drobo is a bit costly overseas...) but the possibility to use it both as a DAS or a NAS is nice.

    This is what I have found so far. I am interesting to hear about the choices I've suggested if you have experience about one of these products. Of course, if you know about good alternatives, please speak as well,

  2. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    I would probably go with the Drobo. Mostly cause it seems to be cheaper than the others. Otherwise any of them would work. Just note that AFAICT only the Drobo allows the resultant volume to be HFS+. I am not sure if that is important to you at all.
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    I don't know if you noticed this bit about the TS-409:
  4. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2006
    I purchased a Dlink DNS 323 which is a 2 bay NAS. There is the Dlink DNS 343 which is a 4 bay NAS.

    My Dlink is very quiet and since it is linux based, there is an active hacker community which has created a lot of software for the NAS. I was able to have the NAS do an automatic backup from one of the disks to the other without having my computer turned on. There is also bittorrent, ftp, etc. software available for the Dlink.
  5. phjo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    Well, I am not sure about that either... But the Drobo here (in France) is not really cheap... In fact, with its companion droboshare, price would fall short of the price of a 2.5TB configured Big5 array.

    Yes, I did, though I read in a review somewhere that going from RAID 1 to RAID 5 could be capricious.

    Thanks for the link :)

    Another one to add to the list, which does not help me to make a decision !

    My favorite so far is the LaCie Big5, because I would suppose it is the quietest of the lot. But I recognize the upgradibility of a Drobo is very tempting (although the netgear or the qnap, AFAIK, seem to offer relatively similar facilities)

    My main problem with Lacie, is how upgradable it will be in the future, as I would rather order the smaller capacity unit (2.5TB, which is plenty... for now !). It certainly will accept bigger disks (of the same size of course) but I wonder how the migration might work... I would hope to be able to change one disk at a time, and let time for the device to reconstruct the raid array, but I am not sure how troublefree this procedure might be...


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